Global Burden of Mental Health

  • M. Kastrup
Reference work entry


Mental disorders contribute significantly to the Global Burden of Disease, as four out of the ten diseases with the highest burden are psychiatric. About 25% of all develop one or more psychiatric and behavioral disorders during their lifetime. Unipolar depression ranges as the leading mental disorder with respect to disability adjusted life years. The major psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and depression are found in all cultures and result in significant disability. The cost of mental disorders worldwide needs receiving increasing recognition.

Mental disorders are highly associated with other health problems and increase the risk for both communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as for both intentional and unintentional injuries. Vice versa, many physical disorders increase the risk for the development of mental disorders.

A large proportion of mental health problems go unnoticed and the recognition hereof is close related to social and cultural factors. Similarly, the treatment gap is closely associated with economic, social and cultural background, and access to adequate care in many settings a rarity.

Awareness of mental health issues should be an integrated and significant part of any health and social policy both at international as well as national level. The WHO Health for all targets focusing on disparities in health and strategies to overcome them is still pertinent.


Mental Health Mental Disorder Mental Health Problem Mental Health Professional Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


disability adjusted life years


determinants of outcome of severe mental disorders


global burden of disease


international pilot study of schizophrenia


obsessional compulsive disorder


post traumatic stress disorder


United States


World Health Association


years of life lived with disability


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  • M. Kastrup

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